BRENDA FULLMER, Athlete of the Month March 2024

Congratulations to Brenda Fullmer, our outstanding Blackbird CrossFit Athlete of the Month for March! Brenda exemplifies the true spirit of resilience, determination, and kindness within our community.

In the demanding realm of law enforcement, Brenda leverages her time at Blackbird not just as a physical preparation for her job but also as a crucial component of her mental well-being. Nothing beats the therapeutic release of throwing around a barbell and breaking a sweat after a challenging day at work! She approaches her training with a quiet intensity, keeping her head down and grinding away at every challenge that comes her way. Despite her reserved nature, Brenda’s compassionate spirit radiates as she selflessly supports and encourages her fellow athletes, epitomizing the camaraderie that defines our CrossFit family.

Over the past six years at Blackbird CrossFit, Brenda has become a pillar of commitment. Her journey showcases a relentless pursuit of self-improvement, with participation in various programs that have shaped her into the athlete we celebrate today. Taking the initiative to fine-tune her nutrition with a Blackbird Nutrition coach, Brenda has honed her approach to fueling her body, for work and play. She also participated in the PACER program to improve her endurance and recovery.

However, it’s in the realm of weightlifting where Brenda’s transformation truly shines. From overcoming the mental hurdle of a 65lb snatch to effortlessly executing over 20 of them in a recent workout, her progress is nothing short of inspiring. Coach Chris attests to her remarkable journey in Barbell Club, noting that “Her technique and confidence around the barbell have gone through the roof in the last couple of years.”

She thrives on pushing her limits and conquering new milestones, proving that age is no obstacle to improving one’s overall fitness.

Brenda Fullmer, you are more than an athlete; you are the embodiment of perseverance, kindness, and unwavering support. As our March Athlete of the Month, you’ve earned this spotlight not only for your physical achievements but for the incredible positive energy you bring to Blackbird CrossFit every day. Here’s to celebrating Brenda and her extraordinary journey!

Meet Brenda…

Tell us about yourself

I’m Brenda Fullmer. I’m 53 years old – part of the distinguished over 50 club at Blackbird 🙂 I grew up in Pennsylvania, and moved to Maryland after graduating from college in order to pursue employment. I’ve been a police officer for over 29 years, the last 26 with the Howard County Police Department.

What made you start CrossFit? Has your motivation changed over the years? 

I dabbled in different kinds of fitness here and there over the years. I had done some CrossFit type workouts with some friends and really liked it but fell off the exercise wagon again. I got to the point where I was very unhappy with my fitness level, so I decided to join Blackbird. My mom always says age is just a number. She’s 80, and she’s very active. You might even have seen her join me for a class or two when she’s in town. CrossFit makes me feel like my age is just a number. I love the functional fitness aspect and how it relates to doing real life things – everyone knows CrossFitters do farmer’s carries so we can carry all the bags of groceries in one trip.

What have you learned about movement, fitness, and yourself since joining Blackbird?

I would never have thought I would be doing the things I am doing at the gym. I’ve learned to try to not be so hard on myself when movements aren’t going the way I want them to be going, or I’m not as fast as I wish. The fact that I’m there working out, doing hard things, is a huge plus. I’ve learned that giving 100% means giving 100% of what you have to give that day, and if that’s 50% of your normal 100%, that’s okay, because life…

What is your proudest CrossFit moment?

I guess that would be doing a few kipping pull ups for the first time, which was in my first Open. Finally hitting that 80# snatch was pretty awesome too – Barbell Club for the win there!

What is your favorite CrossFit movement, lift, or WOD? Least favorite?

I’ve really come to love Olympic lifting – shout out to Barbell Club! I prefer chippers – keeping a decent steady pace is my gym jam. I also love a WOD with low reps.

I would be happy if thrusters were banned from CrossFit.

What do you enjoy most about Blackbird or CrossFit in general?

There is such a supportive community at Blackbird. “Don’t Be Intimidated, Be Inspired” isn’t just a motto at Blackbird, it truly is how the gym operates. I love that CrossFit is infinitely
scalable. I love the variety of the workouts. I especially love that I don’t have to figure out a fitness routine – I show up, and what I need to do for the day is right there. I love the challenge of it. I’ve loved watching my stepson develop an enjoyment for CrossFit. It’s so great when we get to suffer through a workout together. Having him there always gives me an extra push. I also love seeing other people conquer their fears and achieve their goals. I always say that I’m only really good at one thing in CrossFit, and that’s cheering for others. I know how it feels to
accomplish something in the gym, so I love to see that in others.

What impact has CrossFit had on you inside and outside of the gym?

I’ve made some good friends at the gym. I’ve gained confidence in my ability to move and lift. In my job, I never know what I might be called to do. CrossFit helps me feel more prepared. Being a police officer takes its toll, mentally and physically. CrossFit helps balance that.

What are your CrossFit goals? How close are you to reaching them?

Consistent strict pull ups and consistent double unders. Definitely a work in progress, but I will get there.

When you are not CrossFitting what is your favorite thing to do?

Spending time with my family, whether that’s seeing my stepson in Virginia, or my parents and siblings in PA.

What is one fun thing about you that we may not know yet?

I’m one of only a few people I’ve ever known that has been Velcro jumping. It was a long time ago, but set it up and I would do it again!

What is the one tip you would give someone considering CrossFit or new to CrossFit?

Just try it! Once you try it, you’ll be hooked. The hardest part really is walking through the door. Don’t compare yourself to others. Be the best you that you can be, and you’ll see your own results before you know it.

What is your diet like? Has it changed since starting CrossFit?

Who knew one person needed to consume so much protein?!? I’ve learned so much from Blackbird Nutrition Coaches. Prior to that, I didn’t even know what a macro was. My diet could use some work these days, but it’s definitely better and more balanced with the knowledge I’ve gained at Blackbird.

What is your favorite workout fuel? What about your favorite indulgence?

My favorite workout fuel is Triple Zero yogurt, blueberries, and sliced almonds.
I enjoy indulging in chocolate…..

Results? Tell us about your results!

I have muscles I never thought I would have! I do things that I used to watch other people do, and think I wouldn’t ever be able to do. I can use a barbell, do a proper push up, climb a rope.


Huge shout out to all the coaches for always having a modification when needed, an answer to a question, timely cue, encouraging words, and for making classes fun! I remember being new at Blackbird, looking around at all the bad ass things that were happening, and just wanting to be a part of it. I wanted to do all the things, and I wanted to do them immediately! Well, I quickly learned it doesn’t happen that way haha At least a thousand times over the last five years I’ve been at Blackbird, I’ve had to remind myself of what Coach Steve says: “Strength takes time” Not only does it take time, it also takes effort, consistency, and a group of supportive people cheering for you. The coaches and community at Blackbird are awesome!